At least we will always be able to switch to T-Mobile to get competitive prices... Oh wait.
Try SQLAlchemy. It's simply awesome. The ORM by and for people who actually know relational databases. No "composite keys not supported". No "Legacy DB" FUD phrasing like Rails. Use it with Mako for templates and whatever web framework. Pylons/Pyramid works, as do others I'm sure, but to me the far more important choice is the ORM and templating system. The rest is just glue.
Ubuntu has had a strange mix of decisions lately. Good decisions to dump f-spot and evolution. These were two default programs I always had to remove for non-technical users that I support to avoid endless complaints. Then there are bad decisions like pulseaudio (over jack). It causes problems but, after a lot of growing pains, mostly works for the average user. Then there are the horrible decisions like Unity and Wayland that make you wonder where they think they are going.
> Some of us have been writing C in Linux for ~12 years and decided enough is enough. C++ is not any better (in many ways worse),
And that's where you went wrong. Good, modern C++ is much better than C for most high level applications. Most of the anti C++ attacks from below (C) and above (Java/C#) are merely FUD in my experience. Programming in C++ provides nice abstractions that C lacks, without giving up system-level control that the JVM/CLR environments do.
A relational database is not merely a storage engine. This is a common mistake made by MySQL users (and developers).